What It All Means

If you get nothing else from this month, I want you to become more comfortable with being a writer. I want you to be able to look at screens, or blank pages and let what is in you flow out.

I want you to be comfortable with people calling you a writer as well. Be comfortable with people asking you to create. Be okay with people inviting you to creative spaces. You are being asked to these places because people believe in your talent–and what you have to say.

The question really is, do you believe what you have to say?

If you believe, then write. If you don’t believe, write anyway. Sometimes, just sometimes, inspiration doesn’t come. It has to be conjured.

Encouragement Pages: 06/03/2019-Murder Your Darlings

I know that sounds harsh.

But the Master himself said that. Yes, Stephen King. What that means is this: don’t fall into the honey trap of the subplot. Keep the reader focused. Keep the map. Keep them engaged and keep them on Yellow Brick Road.

You have a story to keep. Tell the story.

Make the subplot a stand alone story. Don’t frustrate your purpose and main plot by chasing the written White Rabbit.

With Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Encouragement Pages: 5/31/19

I want you to go back to the drawing board today.

I want you to go on your computer, the Cloud, phone or desk drawer. I want you to look at your work.

The unfinished. The unstarted. The drafts. The doubts.

I want you to look at your work.

I want you to be aware that these pieces of tangible imagination came from you.

Now, with that same bravery, pick one to finish by the end of the year. It’s only May. You can do it!

Honor your talent.

In Love & Ink,

JBHarris

Encouragement Pages: 5/29/19-Honor The Talent

I am fond of this phrase:

LET THE PEOPLE IN YOUR HEAD OUT!

This means don’t shut the story up! Nothing should get in the way of the story! Nothing! Writing involves the relentless pursuit of story to its expected (or unexpected) end.

What is the story saying or trying to say?

Don’t ignore it.

CARRIE almost didn’t get published until Tabitha King fished it out of the trash and told her overworked husband, Stephen, it was good.

Honor your talent. The world still wants to hear what you have to say.

In Love & Ink,

IBHarris

Mess & Muses

“All brilliant men (and women) are messy.”

In my almost 40 years of living, I can say more than once, this is true. My father always had some sort of functional disorganization in papers or folders. My sister’s room was always in some sort of post hurricane disarray. My room, too, was filled with papers, notebooks and scribbles on paper.

All brilliant women are messy.

That mantra became my validation in my creative notions and expectations. When there was a particular item, thought or notion I thought incredible? I would obsess over it. I would research and make it a part of my whole self.

Short stories. Email addresses. Colors. Character assessments, even character names! Embrace the messiness! Embrace the processing and the messiness and the desire to learn. Get used to the messiness. Get used to your imagination wandering and its provoking.

Embrace the messiness. It is key to your sanity as a writer.

Look for the rhythm in the mess. Look for where you passions may be hidden or revealed. Look for the passion–don’t hide from it. These are you muses, or your guides to where you can focus your talents.

Pay attention. It’s not just messiness—there are universes there.

Encouragement Pages: 5/24/19-Stuck In The Middle

It’s easy for a writer to abandon a work.

Writing can be frustrating, thankless and utterly maddening. However, the wisdom I can offer you is the same which I have gleaned from Anne Rice. There are times where the/a WIP can be abandoned in favor of something more favorable. However, save it!

Don’t delete the work–put it away.

There may be a time where you will able to go back to it. Where you will have the time, the gumption, hell, even the confidence to go back to it.

When all else fails, fellow writer-scribe-oracle, pause and regroup. Your imagination will thank you for it.

In Love & Ink,

JBHarris